Homage to Bhagawaan Ji on 96th Mahajayanti
celebrated at Delhi
by R. C. Kaul "Pamposh"
this auspicious occasion, I feel the greatest pleasure in recalling to my mind
the particular birthday of Bhagawaan Gopinath Ji that was celebrated at the
shrine of Mata Khir Bhawani. Tulamula, Srinagar some time during the period
1953-56 (I can't recall the exact year). I was very fortunate in accompanying
BhagawaanJi in a "doonga" (a wooden boat with several cabins inside)
from Sehyar, Nawakadal to Tulamula. The 'Yatra' started from the house of the
late Shri Gobind Kaul. He and his three brothers Shri Dinanath Kaul, Shri Shyam
Lal Kaul and Shri Lassa Kaul were great devotees of the Bhagawaan. They had made
elaborate preparations to perform a 'Yagnya' at Khir Bhawani on BhagwaanJi's
birthday in His very hallowed presence there. Of the four brothers mentioned,
Shri Lassa Kaul is still alive, residing now at Jammu as a displaced migrant.
His nephew, Shri Pran Nath Kaul (S/o Shli Dina Nath Kaul) too is living at
Jammu, well known as the Secretary of Bhagawaan GopinathJi Trust. I quite
remember how affectionately all the members of the Kaul family would call
BhagawaanJi "Tathi Bab".
It was actually in two
"doongas" that the Kaul family, their close relatives and friends,
accompanied by BhagawaanJi and many devotees (including me) started our "Yatra"
from Sehyar. I was then a young man in my early thirties, working as a teacher
at Rangteng High School, Bulbul Lanker, Srinagar. I distinctly remember the
words that BhagawaanJi spoke to me in the 'doonga'. " You are blessed as
much as you are linked with the children of God; you don't need any thing more.
You do not smoke, but pass on the 'Chillum' and the 'Tobacco-daba' to me."
I prepared the 'Chillum' with his eyes turned skyward the Bhagawaan puffed it.
He was deeply absorbed in meditation, transmitting and receiving vibrations (as
I could make out).
sailed smoothly down the river Jehlum for a good length. All of a sudden,
Bhagawaan Ji stopped puffing his 'Chillum' and said to Shri Govind Kaul,
"Don't you see what has happened to the Malla (Boatman) ? The boatmen
rowing the other "doonga" hired a labourer at Mujagund to assist him
in handling a long, thick and strong wooden pole (called 'Hamtul' in Kashmiri)
to ensure speedy movement of the 'doonga'. Thereupon, Tathi Bub (BhagawaanJi)
again puffed his "Chillum", and then, pointing towards the north east
of the valley, said in an angry tone - " A whiff of strong wind from that
side will blow them over." At the moment it was very sunny and calm. All of
sudden, the sky was over-cast with clouds and a strong wind started blowing. It
grew into a fierce storm, and there was thunder and lightning. Consequently, all
the pilgrims in different "Shikaras" and "doongas" got
panicky, shivering with cold. The miracle of miracles was that our two "doongas"
stood steady and unharmed; Only the Malla (boatman) fell into the river but he
too was saved. The storm continued for 45 minutes. Tathi Bab stopped puffing
altogether and he came to the prow of the "doonga". He lifted the
"Hamtul" and asked Shri Dina Nath Kaul (who was a renowned medical
practitioner) to bring a piece of red cloth. Tying the cloth around the top of
the long wooden pole, the Bhagawaan addressed the raging storm: " you
settle down at once in this vitasta (Jehlum)" In no time was the sky clear
of the black clouds and the yatris resumed the journey happily. Our two 'doongas'
reached Khir Bhawani safe and sound. I still cherish the memory of having spent
a full week, along with other devotees, in the company of BhagawaanJi at
Tulamula in the cool shade of chinar trees, in Kashmiri parlance a "Bonishehjar"
of Mata Khir Bhawani. It was a great joy indeed to watch the Bhagawaan's divine
participation in the holy 'Yagya' performed by the father and uncles of Shri
Pran Nath Kaul. Simultaneously, the birthday of Tathi Bab (BhagawaanJi) was also
celebrated with great religious fervour.
I was fortunate too, in
having BhagawaanJi's darshan many a time at his several places of residence. On
such occasions, I also came into contact with the Bhagawaan's dedicated Bhaktas,
who were stead fast, in selfless devotion to Him. I specially remember the names
of Shri ThakurdasJi of Thakur's Agency (father of Shri M.L. Pandit, President of
Bhagawaan GopinathJi Trust), Shri Shambunath Tufchi and Shrimati Padmavati
Naqaib. One day after having Parikrama of Hali Parbat, they and I (four of us)
called at BhagawaanJi's residence at Dalhasanyar. The Bhagawaan received us like
a simple and earnest grahasti, got tea (Kahawa) prepared for us and then during
the course of conversation, talked to us about the upliftment of our community
in his characteristic way, making an economical use of words and conveying
'wisdom' through suggestive hints. He did not discourse on things at length nor
spoke like a preacher. What I could gather from his words was his utmost concern
for the allround development of our youth and his emphasis on our cultivating
the spirit of selfless service as members of trusts and social organizations
engaged in religious activities. I believe that BhagawaanJi's devotees at the
various centres today are mostly dedicated and disciplined, following his
teachings in letter and spirit. May the Bhagawaan bless us all.